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Is There a Code of Ethics for Pharmacy Technicians?

As a pharmacy technician, you’ll fill an important role that supports pharmacists. You can work in a variety of settings, including retail pharmacies, like those in drugstores and grocery stores, mail-in pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities and pharmaceutical companies. Regardless of where you work, you’ll be expected to do an excellent job and uphold the ethics of the profession. But did you know that there is an actual code of ethics?

 

There is!

In fact, there are two codes of ethics that apply to the job of a Pharmacy Technician. After you graduate from a pharmacy technician program, you can choose to take the exam to become certified through a program accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). You may actually be required to earn the certification, depending on your state’s regulations. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is one of the programs accredited by the NCCA and it has its own Code of Conduct that everyone who holds the certification must uphold.

 

Additionally, you may choose to become a member of the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians (AAPT) to gain networking and continuing education opportunities. As a member of the AAPT, you would also have a Code of Ethics to follow.

 

Why is a Code of Ethics Important for Pharmacy Technicians?

Many industries and businesses have codes of ethics for members and employees to follow. These codes are a way to make it clear of what’s expected of the people involved. They help hold everyone to the same high standards and accountable if they act in a way that the industry (or business) disapproves of. When pharmacy technicians uphold the expectations of a code of ethics, it helps ensure that pharmacies are well run and that patients receive high-quality, safe care. If mistakes are made in the pharmacy, it can be dangerous for patients.

 

Key Expectations of the Pharmacy Technician Code of Ethics

As a pharmacy technician, the code of conduct from the PTCB and code of ethics from the AAPT outline that you will be required to:

  • Act honestly and ethically at all times. This means that you act with integrity and don’t break any laws, whether they are local, state, federal or regulatory specific to the field.
  • Take necessary precautions to safely and competently provide pharmacy products and services. Remember what you learned in your Pharmacy Technician training and adhere to safety and security protocols at all times.
  • Recognize and respect the pharmacist’s abilities as well as your own. It will be up to you to understand what you’re allowed to do as a technician and what responsibilities will be exclusive to the pharmacist. You will have to trust yourself and know the depth but also limitations of your own skills and knowledge based on your experience and training.
  • Respect the confidentiality of patient records and information. Due to HIPAA regulations, there are strict guidelines on how you access, store, and share patient information. To maintain patient confidence in your pharmacy and avoid legal penalties, you need to respect patient privacy and the laws around it.

 

If you want to learn more about the duties of a Pharmacy Technician as well as the legal and ethical rules of the profession, Charter College’s Pharmacy Technician certificate program may be ideal for you. Fill out the form and we’ll answer all your questions.